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Porfirio's Miami Report

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This is their first US restaurant and we happened to be in that neighborhood on the 4th so went in for dinner. They had just opened the day before. They are part of the same group that owns Senhor Frog and Carlos and Charlies but this is much more upscale place. The space is grandly designed and they offer over 100 tequilas and other hand crafted Mexican cocktails. Now to the service. Since they only opened the day before they weren't that busy however, service was way over the top - a little too much. We were only four at the table but there must have been 8 or 9 different wait staff who kept coming over to offer, place, explain everything to the point of being obnoxious. I about had it when the "assistant server" - as she called herself - presented the bottle of Vasso Sparkling Water as though it were a vintage 1982 Bordeaux!! We just asked her to put it down and we would help ourselves when ready. They need to back off a bit and calm down and not be quite so pretentious - it's only a Mexican restaurant.

Food is another story. They brought a complimentary board of tostadas with an excellent smoky bean dip (bacon oil) as well as three salsas - green (tomatillo) , ancho chili and red (tomato). We started with a selection of three ceviches - shrimp, octopus and fish - and all were delicious although they mostly all tasted the same. Good citrusy marinade with a good kick to the back of the throat.Then we had the grilled octopus which I found odd on a Mexican menu but it was grilled beautifully and some of the best I've had. Also very artfully displayed as it is brought to the table on the cast iron grill pan with a couple of charred chiles. One other dish that we ordered was the Enchillada verde - a very good execution of it.

Decent wine list - we had a Alvarino that was priced at $42 but when the server brought the bottle he said they were out of the one we ordered but were presenting this more expensive one at the same price. Nice gesture.

In all it was a very good dining experience and once they get more comfortable in their skin with service it will be a great place to go for dinner or to just sit at the bar and have drinks and apps. My one complaint about the appetizer menu is that there are too many items that are fried or filled pastries and I for one am always looking for lighter, more creative things to have with drinks. The biggest disappointment was the photo on their web site shows a wonderful presentation of a pan with gorgeous marrow bones in it and when I asked for it they said they only serve those in Mexico City!! I suggested they either add it to their menu or take it off their web site - that was one of the reasons I stopped in there and that's misleading. I just hope they don' t dumb down their menu like so many other places in town.

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